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Headword: *me/lan
Adler number: mu,451
Translated headword: black
Vetting Status: high
That which is logically opposed to white colour; and especially, that with which we write [i.e. ink].[1] And black is a colour which is combined for sight, while white [is] a colour which is separated for sight.[2]
Also [sc. attested is the phrase] 'Black-goatskinned Dionysus' [sc. whose temple] they founded for the following reason. The daughters of Eleuther saw a spectre of Dionysus with a black goatskin, and mocked it; he was enraged, and drove them mad. After that Eleuther received an oracle that, to stop their madness, he had to honour Dionysus of the Black Goatskin.[3]
Greek Original:
*me/lan: to\ a)ntidiairou/menon tw=| leukw=| xrw/mati: kai\ i)di/ws, w(=| gra/fomen. me/lan de/ e)sti xrw=ma sugkritiko\n o)/yews, leuko\n de\ xrw=ma diakritiko\n o)/yews. kai\ *melanaigi/da *dio/nuson i(dru/santo e)k toiau/ths ai)ti/as. ai( tou= *)eleuqh=ros qugate/res qeasa/menai fa/sma tou= *dionu/sou e)/xon mela/nhn ai)gi/da e)me/myanto: o( de\ o)rgisqei\s e)ce/mhnen au)ta/s. meta\ tau=ta o( *)eleuqh\r e)/labe xrhsmo\n e)pi\ pau/sei th=s mani/as timh=sai *melanaigi/da *dio/nuson.
[1] Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentaries on Aristotle's Topics 114.15-17 Wallies, here commenting on Topics 107b38.
[2] (That is, black pigment is a combination of all the colours of the spectrum, while white is an absence of colours.) Same work 126.27-28, commenting on Topics 153a.
[3] Cited from Pausanias the Atticist s.v. melanaigi/da *dio/nuson. The temple of Dionysus of the Black Goatskin is mentioned in his namesake Pausanias the traveller (2.35.1). See also under alpha 2940 (and mu 450).
Keywords: aetiology; definition; philosophy; religion; science and technology; women; zoology
Translated by: Nick Nicholas on 10 May 2009@08:24:15.
Vetted by:
David Whitehead (x-ref; more keywords; tweaks and cosmetics) on 10 May 2009@11:09:41.
David Whitehead on 14 May 2013@07:37:56.
David Whitehead (coding) on 17 May 2016@10:25:36.
Catharine Roth (tweaked translation) on 1 August 2020@21:39:56.
Catharine Roth (tweaked note) on 1 August 2020@21:55:13.


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